Wednesday, April 25, 2012

the word that struck my heart today

photo source
You never know what word will strike your heart on any given day.

Sometimes, its a word of pain, a sharp barb to your heart.

And sometimes, it's a word of immense support and love and you realize that God has used this word to to lift a huge, heavy burden from your shoulders.

My friend Cindy called me in the middle of trying to set up the SDG Retreat registration form.  It was a welcome interruption, to say the least.

After we finish our conversation, she asked if she could pray for me.  And while her prayer was filled with an abundance of incredible words of encouragement and love, the one word that had me soaring was this:

Co-laborer.

She was asking God to be a co-laborer with me and at the sound of that simple word, I had this beautiful thought:

I am not working alone.

My to-do list that He has given me did not come with the expectation that I would check off each item by the strength and will of my own power.  He is not standing idly by to see whether I will perform up to a certain standard.  He is not one to sit on the throne and crack whip.

No, instead, He is in the trenches with me, helping me to churn up the soil, plant the seeds.  He reminds me when to water and when to weed.  And when the weight of keeping the garden growing takes its toll, He tells me to relax in the shade and I swear I see Him taking over completely.

And it's not just a lofty analogy.  Today at my computer, staring at the unintelligible language of Form Desk, my eyes glazed over and I thought I would never be able to figure out how to make the calculations work.  I almost gave up, but as a last ditch effort, I simply said, I cannot do this by myself.


And suddenly, I wasn't doing it by myself.  My head cleared and I was able to accomplish something that normally sends me to tears.  And I wonder how many times in life, I just assume that I'm rowing this boat all by myself and I end up wallowing in my own muck instead of just calling out to the One who makes the waves?

He co-labors with us, no matter what the job, equipping us at every turn, if only we would ask.


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So many people have stepped up to be co-laborers with me in the process of raising money for the SDG Retreat.  Andrea has graciously donated three items from her Etsy shop for a silent auction that will run from now until Sunday.  All proceeds will go toward lowering the cost of the retreat for all attendees.  It would bless me incredibly if you would share these auction details with those you know on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.  And, think MOTHER'S Day!!  If you would like to bid on one of the items, please tell me which item you are bidding on and your bid.  I will try to keep the post updated with the current bids, but you can check the comments to be sure!

Item #1: Large Hot/Cold "Cheery" Pit Pack
A beautiful, yet practical gift for Mom this Mother's Day or any other occasion (one that is eco-friendly and versatile too!)... "Cheery Packs" (which measure approximately 17" x 4" when fully opened) are filled with dried cherry pits and can be heated or chilled to provide soothing relief for aching muscles, aching heads, or, when warmed, are an antidote to cold toes. In the summer, gain relief from the heat by placing a chilled Cheery Pack on your neck.  If you win this item, you will get to choose your favorite pack from among the 25+ packs Andrea has on hand (not all are listed in her shop)

Retail price: $15
Starting bid: $10










Item #2:  Set of 3 custom reversible headbands for girls, teens, and ladies



A unique pairing of fabrics + a custom fit = a reversible headband that's made for you.

When you order this reversible headband, you will receive a hair accessory which reflects your personal style. Or, if it's a gift, the style of the woman or girl who will wear it. Each headband is made from 100% cotton fabric and uses 1/2" wide knit elastic. 

Retail price for set: $21
Starting bid: $15



Item #3:  Custom reversible apron for child, teen, or lady                                                               



Sizes available:        
12 mos - 4T (small)
5T - 12 years (medium)
Teen/Adult

When you win this item, Andrea will work with you to find a custom pairing of fabrics for your reversible apron. Please visit the shop page on Andrea's blog to see apron samples.
Retail price range: $15-$25
Starting bid: $12/kids, $20/ladies
In addition, Andrea will donate 10% of any order placed through the shop page on her blog (http://whispersinthesilence.blogspot.com/p/my-shop-saved-by-grace-designs.html) or her etsy shop (www.etsy.com/shop/savedbygracedesigns) now through 5 p.m. EDT Saturday, April 28 to help lower the SDG retreat cost. She has several aprons and many Cheery Packs for sale that are unlisted in addition to any custom orders you wish to place. If your order is intended as a gift for Mother's Day, please let her know.

Auction closes Saturday evening, April 28 at midnight, PDT!

15 comments :

  1. we are neighbors at jennifers...this is a good reminder...yes...how many times I struggle at the oars because I don't look up and see...hand willing and ready to join my in the rowing...blessings as we row with Him.

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  2. This post is so encouraging. Thanks for sharing. I needed to read this today. Co-laborer -- that's going straight into my journal as the word for the week.

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  3. Isn't it wonderful when God brings people to us? I am often guilty of not asking for help. I love your line. "He tells me to relax in the shade and I swear I see Him taking over completely." That's what I need to do - even when I'm not feeling overwhelmed by the weight of what I'm doing. I take those oars on my own far too much. Thanks so much for your wonderful words today.
    Hugs,
    Michelle

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  4. Hi Jen - love this: He is in the trenches with me! I am so grateful that we are not alone. It is a humbling and astonishing when we realize, "hey, I'm not doing it alone" Great post my friend.
    God bless and thank you for your encouragement. I appreciate it more than you know
    Tracy

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  5. it feels pretty amazing to know you are not going life alone...that there are co-labourers there with us...those that come along side us and a god that is always right there as well....good stuff...

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  6. How awesome that God chooses to work with us!

    It's wonderful that He gets right in the trenches with us.

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  7. Oh, I need to use that word with my husband more. Yes, God labors with us and sends us His beloved to do the same. Sheer grace!

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  8. What fun, Jen! I love watching how God works. Grateful for our phone call and God's work in our midst. Can't wait to see what He is up to! :)

    Here's a verse I'll be praying for you as you work on SDG retreat details...

    We are assured and know that [God being a partner in their labor] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose. Romans 8:28 AMP

    Love to you~
    Cindy :)

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  9. oh jen, i love this reminder. we are not alone. in fact, he is willing to do it all, if we let him. bless you friend. may you find time to rest...

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  10. Very nice Jenn, thanks for sharing how God is working in your life.

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  11. We are all His instruments. My prayer is that may He always find me available and willing as you are.

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  12. So glad, Jen, that God lifted you up with the truth that He labors with you and for you...you are never alone...He is the vine and we are the branches...you are modeling abiding so beautifully...Thank you :)

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  13. What an encouraging concept, to think of God as my co-labourer.. I shall have to chew on this and remember it when I am struggling with an impossible seeming task!

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  14. So happy that we are not alone in this journey.

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